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It may typically be the smallest room in the home, but the bathroom can pack a big punch when it comes to sustainability.
Let’s see how ditching the plastic, making your shower more sustainable and even investing in a bidet can help improve your bathroom's carbon footprint…
1. Choose products with less packaging
The lotions and potions in our bathrooms can add up to a whole lot of packaging. Research shows that bathroom products account for 30-40 per cent of total landfill waste– some of which will take up to 500 years to decompose.
However, with a few simple swaps, you could significantly cut the amount you throw in the bathroom bin.
Using bars of soap rather than bottles of shower gel and handwash is one way to cut down on plastic packaging, while an increasing number of brands offer refill services where you can top up your favourite product in a recyclable pouch.
One of the biggest plastic problems in bathrooms is disposable razors, with a whopping 2 billion ending up in landfill each year. Investing in a reusable razor that’ll last you years will boost your eco-credentials and most likely result in a smoother shave. Winner, winner.
Source: Wearth London
And if you can’t ditch the plastic fully, make sure you recycle. Research shows we’re
generally less likely to recycle bathroom waste compared to kitchen waste.
2. Make your shower more efficient
Baths and showers account for most of our water consumption – around 34% – and
also require significant energy usage to heat the water.
And while some people think taking a shower is much more efficient than a soak in the tub, the truth is some power showers actually use more water and heat than a bath.
To save water during your shower, switch to an aerating or low flow shower head which can reduce the amount of water used by as much as 6 litres per minute.
You also need to time your shower right – according to Waterwise, if everyone in the UK showered for just one minute less a day it would cut £215 million off the nation’s energy bills every year. The optimum time is 4 minutes – just enough time to get yourself squeaky clean and belt out a power ballad.
3. Save water when you flush
Did you know that flushing the toilet accounts for around 30% of the water used in your household and older models of loo use around 14 litres per flush?
Source: The Green Age
Upgrading to a dual flush toilet is one way to cut water usage, but there are a few tricks you can try with your current set-up to help you save water. Placing a displacement device in your cistern will reduce the amount of water used per flush by between one and three litres. (It’s worth checking if your water company will send you one for free.)
Alternatively you can fit a variable flushing device to an existing toilet, giving you the option to choose a flush which uses less water.
4. Consider a bidet
Bidets aren’t commonly found in British bathrooms, but that could be about to change as more people wake up to the sustainability benefits they offer.
Using a bidet rather than toilet roll not only reduces the number of trees being chopped down, it also saves water, which may seem counter-intuitive, but manufacturing toilet paper is actually an incredibly water-intensive process.
In fact, Tushy, a bidet attachment manufacturer, suggests using a bidet could help people save as much as 54 gallons of water a week.
5. Keep sustainability top of mind when redecorating
Planning a bathroom overhaul? Make sure you’re thinking of how to boost the space’s green credentials when you’re picking out fixtures and fittings.
For example , shower screens are a more eco-friendly choice than vinyl shower curtains which can contain chemicals which are harmful to the environment and are more likely to need replacing repeatedly.
And, when it comes to choosing flooring and tiles, there are plenty of green choices too.
Reclaimed tiles, natural lino and recycled cork are all sustainable and stylish options, while using natural stone unit tops or flooring, such as quartz or marble, means you won’t need harsh chemicals to keep them clean. Plus, they can be recycled when you’re ready for another change. Bonus.
There’s also plenty of scope for using recycled items in your bathroom rather than always buying brand new. Vintage washstands and dressers make the perfect base for a sink, or you could have a go at refurbishing an antique free-standing bath.
If you prefer a more modern aesthetic, take a look on local selling sites to see if anyone is selling bathroom furniture as part of their own remodel – you might just bag a bargain.
For other ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your home, visit Halifax’s Green Living hub and get inspired.